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SELVA :: About Us


SELVA International is a nonprofit conservation organization founded by Ph.D. ecologists with over 100 years of combined on-the-ground conservation experience. SELVA's mission addresses the wide-ranging problems we find at the root of environmental destruction.

The Problems

1. Environmental destruction happens at the local level- caused by people (individuals, communities, companies, and governments) who unsustainably exploit the natural resources we all depend on. 2. Large amounts of money are spent worldwide on conservation programs that attempt to stop this destruction, but fail.

We have documented four reasons for these problems:

1. Scientific knowledge fails to reach the general public. This means that most people don't understand the ecological consequences of their actions.

2. General scientific knowledge is poorly applied by non-expert conservationists and resource managers to environmental problems that require site-specific expertise.

3. Conservation projects implemented locally are often run by, and dependent on, outside entities. This means they are rarely relevant to local conditions or people.

4. Projects run by outside organizations are often too expensive and short-term to be sustainable.

SELVA's Solution

These problems are caused by a gap between resource managers, the public, conservationists, scientists, and funds directed to conservation (which rarely reach locally initiated projects). SELVA was created to fill this gap. We know that effective conservation needs to be based in scientific knowledge, initiated locally, affordable, and long-term.

So, with SELVA it's simple. As scientists, our goal is to educate the public about environmental issues and to help local people implement their own low-cost, science-based, sustainable conservation programs. SELVA acts as a network through which scientists, resource managers, and regular people can come together to preserve our environment.

SELVA Project Areas

1. Conservation collaboration on local projects*

We provide on-site services in scientific consulting, capacity building, and project collaboration to help local resource managers strengthen their abilities to conserve and develop sustainable environments. Our services help local groups with little access to financial and technical resources create and implement effective conservation projects that:

• are based in science.
• conserve biodiversity, natural habitats, and ecosystem functions.
• promote sustainable use of natural resources.
• are low-cost and self-sustainable.
• are long-term.

Specific support we offer includes collaboration on:

• assessing scientific and conservation needs of project.
• ecological research and monitoring.
• project planning, development, implementation, and evaluation.
• capacity building and information-sharing.
• securing long-term funding.

Micro-Carbon Credits to Offset Carbon Pollution

Conservation of Critically Endangered Giant Amazon River Turtles

The Go Green Club - Los Angeles Environmental Student Group

2. Environmental Education

We are currently designing an online environmental education forum, where students and the general public will learn about current environmental issues through a diverse, interactive, and multi-media experience.

3. Conservation HUB

We are working to create a conservation network with an intelligent, interactive, online interface that will provide information-sharing and collaborative services to all groups working in conservation. The Conservation HUB will help people worldwide find locally-relevant solutions to environmental problems that are based in science.

*Services offered are free to at-cost, determined by level of need.


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SELVA's mission is to empower people to protect the environment. We do this by building alliances that support education and on the ground projects that are scientifically and economically sound.

SELVA International is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization under the provisions of Chapter 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. All donations to SELVA International are tax deductible.

Who We Are
Read about our board of directors and staff.

Find out how we're different from other conservation organizations.

Read more about current SELVA projects.

Mónica Lizett Leytón Medrano :: Home Page - kids
Rolvis Pérez/FAN-Bolivia :: Home Page - forest; video - waterfall
Susan Lipman :: Contact Us - monkeys; video - aerial mountains, monkeys
Zsanett Hajdu :: video - tree w/ birds, tropical river, beetles, kingfisher
Mayrav Lev :: video - Gili
Alison Lipman
:: Other main pics & video


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SELVA International is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization under the provisions of Chapter 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
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